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Love and Relationship

Love and relationships is a major and as some might say the most important part of, the human experience, but they mystify many of us. Groucho Marx sums it up beautifully when he says it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Falling in love is a magical and mystical experience that happens between two people. But first the questions, what motivates people to fall into love? According to Professor Arthur Aron from State University of New York at Stonybrook who has been studying the dynamics which come into play when two people are falling in love, the primary reason why people seek love is to expand their self and to increase their abilities and effectiveness. In terms of falling in love with a person, he says that we fall in love with a person we find attractive and appropriate for us, and that the person in question also reciprocates our feelings. This provides the perfect opportunity for self-expansion and when we perceive this, we feel a surge of exhilaration.

This may sound a bit dispassionate, given the fact that we are more used to poetry when talking about love. However, it does bring to focus a very great insight – we don’t just seek love but we also wish to give love. When we meet the right person, or when the wavelengths between two people meet, the music happens. Or, to put in perspective, the music is always there, but the other person becomes the instrument where we can hear ourselves in all clarity.

When we are in a relationship, the love we feel actually reflects the way we feel about ourselves. So relationship is a mirror in which we see ourselves and what we see is actually love.

This also explains why some relationships work while others don’t. When we feel badly about ourselves, the relationship goes off track. However, whenever there is a problem, we tend to blame others for what went wrong. So there is an important learning from this and that is when ever your relationship is passing through a rough patch, focus on yourself – for it is your face, your personality, your energy flow that is reflecting in the mirror. That is why mystics from all over the world have said it is not the object of your love which is important but you.

Contrary to what most people think, the statistics show that most people fall in love with someone that they have known for a while. People only report falling in love quickly about 1/3 to 40 percent of the time, figures varying from culture to culture. Love at first sight can however happen when meeting a person at very turbulent or stimulating situations. Then again, love and relationships vary from culture to culture.

There are many cultures with the concept of arranged marriages where two unknown people are chosen for each other based on certain common factors such as social standing, background, religion etc. Here, the relationship is not based on love, but is a road which the couples traverse to find love and achieve love. In contrast, in most Western cultures people actually fall in love first and then begin their journey together. Whichever way, love and relationships form the central theme of all cultures.

Then there is another major misconception that appearance plays an important role into the equation of falling in love. While being unattractive can hurt you in forming romantic relationships, being attractive is of not much help either. Research has shown that two important characteristics, kindness and intelligence, are extremely important in the process of falling in love. And it goes without saying attractiveness has nothing to do with these things. These two attributes are things that people learn about someone from knowing them over time. While intelligence is important in all aspects of life, especially in love it is kindness that is the strongest indicator for a successful long-term relationship.